10 Candles that are so warm and comforting they will make you forget that you don’t have a fireplace
Updated: Dec 22, 2019
originally published Nov. 17, 2017
I light candles much more often in the winter than I do in the summer. They give me the sense of comfort and nesting that I crave as soon as the weather starts to get chilly. Here is a list of 10 woody and warm candles great for curing those winter blues.
1. D.S. & Durga – Portable Fireplace
While nothing is as comforting as a wood-burning fireplace on a cold winter day, D.S. & Durga’s Portable Fireplace makes a great apartment-friendly substitute. It smells just like a smoky, warm fireplace, only sadly the smell doesn’t linger on your your hair like it does with a real fireplace. Notes of dwarf pinewood, atlas cedar, smoke, oak ash, birch, and copaiba resin give this candle its fullness and depth of scent.
2. Lola James Harper – The Billard-Room of Jean-Jacques
"Jean-Jacques is a dear friend living in Brittany in a great house in the middle of nowhere with that billard-room where we spend so many nights arguing, playing, laughing...in that warm light and a fragrance of rum and wood." –Lola James Harper
Lola James Harper’s The Billard-Room of Jean-Jacques is a wonderful and woody candle great for those chilly nights when you want to transport yourself to a warm wood-panelled den filled with worn leather furniture and a glowing fireplace. The candle does a great job of sparking the imagination and creating a sense of longing for those late nights chatting with friends while sipping rum around a billiards table.
US: Opening Ceremony
3. Skandinavisk – Flamma
“Flamma”, which is Swedish for flame, is evocative of a blazing wood fire providing refuge in the harsh Scandinavian winter. The scent is smokey and full, with rich notes of sticky resin seeping from pine and burning logs in the fireplace. A great way to warm up your apartment without increasing your electricity bill. (Disclaimer: it probably won’t actually warm up your apartment but it smells pretty awesome.)
4. Diptyque – Dragon
“It is said that in a fight, the goddess Athena grabbed a dragon by the tail, swung it around her head, and then cast it into the heavens among the stars. Guardian of the garden of the Hesperides, the dragon evokes the color red and the warmth of a fire.” -Diptyque
Smoky and spicy, Diptyque's Dragon candle has the olfactory warmth of a fireside glow, which is mirrored in the redish orange color of the wax. In addition to the more traditional fireside scents of wood and smoke, this candle has sweet and spicy notes of blood orange and clove to create an a well-rounded and layered scent perfect for livening those monotonous months of winter.
5. 12.29 – A Forgotten Memory
12.29’s candle, A Forgotten Memory, has a warm and slightly smoky scent, evocative of the elusiveness of a fading memory. The scent contains familiar notes – tobacco, leather, wood, spices – but seems to escape any tangible reference. This is a great candle to light on a cold winter’s day to induce daydreaming and remembering.
6. Christian Dior – Bois Brûlé
Christian Dior’s Bois Brûlé is another candle that is meant to evoke the smell of a log fire. The candle features essences of precious woods and smoke, and I get a whiff of tobacco and leather as well. It radiates a deep and comforting smell, making the candle a great addition to an evening spent curled up under a blanket with a good book in one hand and a mug of mulled wine in the other.
7. Byredo – Peyote Poem
A nod to Mexico’s peyote cactus and it’s psychedelic effects, Byredo’s Peyote Poem candle has a beautifully dry, earthy, and leathery scent. Notes of patchouli, amber, vanilla, and tonka give this candle depth and fullness while pine, clove, and juniper berries add a bit of spice. A great candle to light on those cold, wet days when you wish you were in sunny Mexico instead.
US: Neiman Marcus
8. C.O. Bigelow – Smoke
C.O. Bigelow’s Smoke smells quite close to the real thing, with a slightly sweet twinge, akin to the smell of BBQ smoke. It is inspired by the smells of old cabin leather, crackling firewood, smoked embers, and cold winter air. Cardamom and clove add a bit of spice to the amber, musk, cedar, and birch base. Wonderfully warming, this is a great candle to make you think there’s an actual wood fire burning in your house.
US: C.O. Bigelow
9. Astier de Villatte – Palais de Tokyo
“Overlooking the river Seine, like a mysterious starship navigating the mysterious turbulence of artists’ imaginations, it dominates the view. A troubling fragrance floats between the raw cement walls of its wide, maze-like passageways, where a crowd of zealous and enlightened visitors feverishly gathers: intoxicating wisps of smoky wood, warm skin, and metallic vibrations.” –Astier de Villatte
Astier de Villatte’s Palais de Tokyo is not only based on my favorite art museum, but it is also one of my favorite scents in the company’s collection of candles. It is smoky and woody, with notes of smoked cedar wood, Gaïac wood, oak moss, and cashmere. The beautiful ceramic vessel was designed by artist Eudes Menichetti, making the candle an olfactory artwork in itself.
US: Sue Fisher King
10. Comme des Garcons – Incense Ouarzazate
In Comme des Garçons’ Series 3 Incense, each fragrance is based on a different spiritual teaching. Ouarzazate is based on Islam and was named after a city in Morocco near the Atlas Mountains. The candle is a fusion of different smoky, woody, spicy, and herbal notes including pepper, nutmeg, clary sage, labdanum, wenge, Kashmir wood, and incense, mixed with base notes of musk and vanilla. It is a collage of great smells mixed into one candle and is sure to add a little spice to an otherwise dull and dreary winter evening.
Billiards: tpholland via VisualHunt.com / CC BY
Flamma : ShellyS via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA
Peyote: Photo credit: antefixus21 via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND
Smoke: Richard Ricciardi via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-ND
Palais de Tokyo: m_arty_c via VisualHunt / CC BY